TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — A man whose wife was beaten to death at the hands of his own son, according to police, talked exclusively to KSNT News on Thursday.

The killing happened in the small town of Burlington, Colo. A town just 30 miles from the Kansas state line, off I-70.

Sunday would have been Cynthia and Jon Eason’s fourth marriage anniversary. But on Saturday, Cynthia will be buried near Topeka.

“She changed me in so many ways,” Jon told KSNT News. “She took a short-tempered pilot that liked to take risks in airplanes and she calmed me down.”

Jon is the chief pilot of a flying service in Texas. Cynthia, a 50-year-old who had ties to Topeka, was a popular vet in Colorado who specialized in healing horses. They had a long-distance marriage, but it worked for them.

“When everybody asked me about my new stepmom,” said Jon’s daughter Stephanie Eason, “I said, ‘My dad is a lot to handle,’ but she knew how to do it.”

Jon’s son, 19-year-old Dylan Eason, and another man are accused of beating Cynthia to death in her Burlington home.

“As far as I’m concerned, I don’t have a son anymore,” Jon said. “I think the two should face the death penalty.” Eason believes his son and the other man were out to steal valuables to feed their drug habit.

Stephanie supports her father’s push for the death penalty, but adds: “Nobody wants to see their little brother die. I love him so much, but he did something so terrible.”

Jon disputes media reports from Colorado that claim Cynthia called for help before being murdered. He says there were no such calls.

“At this point, I want to go through the rest of my life to honor her,” Jon said. “She was his other half,” Stephanie added.

Now the family broken by murder, betrayal and loss can only remember the woman they loved in pictures like this one made by a family friend:

The picture that will represent Cynthia at her funeral.

Police in Burlington are under a gag order and cannot discuss the case. The chief of police there tells KSNT News that is normal in murder investigations.

Cynthia’s stepson and the other man are in jail awaiting their next court appearance.

You can view Cynthia’s obituary here.